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  • Postal Inspector Position

    Hi all, new to this forum so I am betting this has alredy been posted but just in case it hasn't thought I would share my story. I had long heard that there wasn't a better federal job in law enforcement than the Postal Inspectors so I put all of my eggs in that basket starting over 3 years ago. During the initial phases of the process I met the SAC here in Charlotte and after the initial test an Inspector came in and spoke freely about the job. The main thing I took from her talk was that they are compensated very well and they all enjoy their job and have disposal to all the coolest new gadgets. Needless to say I was excited.

    In December 2007 I had finally reached the final stage and was flown out to Annapolis Maryland for the 3 day assesment center which consisted of a full day of tests and various scenarios. There were about 8 of us in my group and they notified you via a letter to your room if you passed the days assesments and would move on to take the polygraph. I took the polygraph and passed it as well. Before leaving the assesment center I was congratulated and told that me and the 5 others that passed would be enrolled in the next class there in Annapolis the following April. I returned home and about a week later I was told that the duty stations I may be in line for were Columbia, SC and Wilmington, NC (being from Charlotte I wanted Charlotte but was told that would be slim to none).

    Then about 2 weeks later I received written notification in the mail that all Postal Inspectors positions were under a federal hiring freeze and that the academy I was supposed to attend would not be filled. I was told to maintain my contact information online and that they would contact me as soon as they were going to fill the next academy. 2 year later I am still waiting lol, I am sure glad that I did not notify my bosses. The only information I have received from USPIS are brief responses from inquiring emails I send that simply say they are still under a hiring freeze.

    Not sure if anyone else in the same boat or not, sure wish I had pursued a different federal agency as I am now 32 with an infant child.

  • #2
    CID... You are correct, this would be a dream job in Federal Law Enforcement. I did my college internship with them during the summer of 08. It was amazing the be apart of all the different investigations that this agency is apart of. While there, they were just going through the start of there freeze. I remember the big talk back then was the take home vehicle issues that they were going through.

    Probably will be awhile before things start back up from the looks of things and the gov right now.


    • #3

      I am in the same boat as you. At least you got a letter advising they were in a hiring freeze. I just got the welcome to the pool letter and learned about the freeze from forums. There is some chatter that there is a possible class sometime in Apr-Jul timeframe, but haven't heard anything since then. Just as an FYI, the academy is in Potomac, MD.


      • #4
        Lol it is Potomac isn't it. I was thoroughly impressed with the academy and food their. I hope your right about the academy that would be perfect timing.


        • #5
          The food and the facilities are very nice. While at the AC, I even ran the jogging trail. Very scenic. Hopefully this thread will prompt 14USC to post. He seems to have a contact who provides some intel. I hope the class happens too and somehow I am one of the lucky 24 they select. I figured I can wait a few more years, but I do not want to go through the AC again. Great experience, but only need to experience that once!


          • #6
            Same as everyone else. I was verbally told that I passed the AC/Poly while on "campus" and that I'd hear something soon (that was two years ago). I never heard anything after that. Never got a letter or notification of anything. There was a class in session while I was there. Also, there were two more AC groups scheduled after mine and at the end of the AC a freeze was never mentioned, but I had already heard rumors on the forums. If anything, I felt like I was going to be hired shortly. Big "rah-rah" speech about welcome to the agency kind of thing.

            I've worked with a couple of Inspectors in the recent past who told me that they drive their personal cars while on the job and that though they love the work, there is a lot of stress about what's going to happen in the future.


            • #7
              Ahhh..memories!! I was in the USPIS process for 5 long years!! No that is not a typo!! 8 months before my 37th bday, after 4 years of nothing, I hear from them and start my processing. Passed the AC in Memphis, then passed the poly, background and medical, and since I was on a USPIS Task Force at the time, was told by our Team Leader that I was a lock and should get my home domicile since there were several openings. That went from "they wont put you here, but we will keep you in the division". Then that went to "there are no openings in the Division, but they are looking at neighboring Divisions to place me. Few weeks later, My TL told me that I was ready to schedule for the academy and was looking at Corpus Christi, TX. as my first assignment and that I would receive the official call within a week. Wasn't anywhere close to my home office, but considering I was about to age out, I was going to take it just to get on board and worry about getting back closer to home later. Then a few days later, I get a phone call asking if I had turned in my notice at my other job yet. Of course I said not yet bc I was waiting on the official call. I was told to not turn in any notice bc the hiring freeze was lurking and they were trying to get me into the last academy. 2 days later I found out I missed it by 2 days. 3 weeks later I turned 37 and poof!! I turned into a pumpkin again.
              Yep, I was so close I could taste it. Dont mind saying I was not happy but there was nothing I could do about it! Ended up working out for the better bc the fam was not wild about the idea of moving to Tx and I was promoted at my other job soon there after and I am very happy now. Things have a way of working out.
              As for the current status of USPIS hiring, the current economic crisis is still hurting them and considering the USPS have come in a bazillion dollars in the red the past few years, I dont expect to see any major hiring pushes anytime soon. If anything, I think their numbers will drop even more and then they will only fill to off set attrition. You have to remember that the USPS is a business and not just a federal agency and that affects directly how the USPIS works.
              They are filling for only must have positions right now. I have heard about this rumored class, but I have heard that it will be for hard to fill domiciles like LA, NY,SF, PR, etc. and if you aren't willing to go there, you will get passed over. Some say it will be for USPS employees only and I have also heard it will be for non USPS employees, so right now its anybody's guess. As a notice, once you refuse an offer for the USPIS, you do not get another offer so keep that in mind. I have heard of a few applicants turning down one offer for a valid reason (wife is pregnant, etc) and getting another offer, but just because you don't want to live some where is usually not enough to warrant them keeping you on the list. Might have changed, but it might have not.
              To the poster who mentioned about going through the AC again, you will not have to do the whole AC again. Your BI, Poly and drug screen will need to be updated every 2 years, but thats it. It was challenging enough to pass it once, I wouldn't relish the thought of having to do it again just because you are still on the hiring list!! Plus, you have to remember it costs the USPIS ALOT of $$ to put on an AC. Only the FBI does a process anywhere similar and even it is not as complex and involved as the AC. Given, I only flew a few hundred miles to do it, but many fly cross country and add that onto the hotel bills, costs for the conference rooms and PI salaries to run it and it dont come cheap!
              If you are on the list, my advice is to go for it. I have worked with every ABC federal agency out there in my role as a Detective and Task Force Agent and you will not find a better agency and job description than the USPIS. If you look hard enough, there is a mail nexus in any case, thus giving you jurisdiction to jump into most any investigation. Best starting pay and benefits in the G (they will pay match your current salary up to a certain level. Only FBI is close to this) and top notch equipment. Never met a PI who didnt love their job. I applied with a bunch of fed agencies and turned down 2 other 1811 jobs at close to the same time bc they would not let me delay my EOD bc my wife was 8 months pregnant at the time, but for USPIS I would have told my wife "Good luck" and gone anywhere!! (just kidding honey!).
              The process is long and the AC is tough (but passable!! There IS a difference!!), but the job is worth it. I try not to dwell on what "might have been", but I know I would have loved every minute of it.
              To all of you in the pipeline, hang in there!!
              Last edited by DubyaB; 02-04-2010, 10:24 AM.
              Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be known as the children of God."


              • #8
                DUBYA! Long time, no talk, brother! Ahhhh, I remember the insanity of that hiring process. Rocketing through all the way to the end, being told I would not have to move, only to have the hiring freeze hit the day after I had my management interview. Ugh. Oh well. I hired on with ICE a couple of months later. I haven't heard anything from USPIS since. Even if I did, I don't think I would leave. Doesn't sound like I will have to make that choice though. I would be surprised if I ever heard from them again.

                In any case, great to hear from you


                • #9
                  Glad youre doing well CFD!! I remember you got picked up by ICE right there after and Im glad youre still enjoying it!! Firm believer in things happen for a reason and as much as I was questioning it then, Im happy as a pig in slop right now!! Always gotta remember the old sayin "If momma aint happy, no ones happy!" and momma is happy, so I guess life is good!!
                  To everyone else, I will keep an ear to the ground on the USPIS process and post anything I hear.
                  Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be known as the children of God."


                  • #10
                    The USPIS process was such a roller coaster ride. In the end I think it all worked out for the best, at least for me. I was fortunate enough to be picked up by an IG shop, and didn't even have to move. After getting my feet wet with the IG, can't see myself anywhere else. Excellent family friendly balance, providing a more focused and balanced case load, great training, equipment and benefits.
                    "Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. " --Dwight K Schrute (The Office)


                    • #11
                      WOW. USPIS thread brings back some old friends!!! DubyaB, miked6, and SuperCFD!! Good to hear from you again. For those who don't know, I too was in that wonderful pool of individuals told they would be in one of the classes just before the freeze. I really thought the USPIS was my ticket out of the USSS. Well, that did not turn out. I have to say one thing about the entire process. The fact that the USPIS does not give conditional offers really left me in a bad position. They walked into the USSS office and interviewed my supervisor and then left me hanging. Believe me, the USSS is not one place to let people know you are looking elsewhere.

                      I have to admit I got pretty upset when one day they said I was good to go and the next day they said they were on a freeze that could last years. I guess things happen for a reason. About a year later, I finally transferred to a different agency, and I am happy!!!

                      This post brought back some good memories and conversations. Good luck to all.
                      Last edited by IrishFed; 02-07-2010, 02:18 PM.


                      • #12
                        My .02 stamp

                        Wow, it sucks reading about some of the guys/gals who were so close then things got shut down. I was in the process for 3.5 years and most of the time was a huge lull between the test and the AC. I got into the last class of the FY in 8/07 and there were only a couple more classes after that.

                        While it is true there are a ton of rumors floating around, I will share what I do know first hand. First, the buzz about a CDD class around the 3rd quarter of the year is still strong and there are variations in the rumors about hiring current USPS employees only, but the most consistent thing I hear is that it will be open to ALL. Keep in mind that back in the day you had to be a current or former USPS employee to become an Inspector and even when that was dropped, being such was still one of the "tracks" like accounting, law, etc. In my class (which was small due to it being EOY), there were a few who came directly from USPS.

                        I wouldn't doubt that they hire for specific Divisions, but that isn't different than the past either. For example, I came from a large hard to fill Division, but there were no vacancies at that exact second, so I didn't go back there. Had I gone to my Division of origin, they said they would seek my preference for which Domicile was convenient. IMO it is excellent knowing where you are going before you pack your bags.

                        TURNING DOWN OFFERS
                        Since I was caught off guard when I got the call, I did ask what would happen if I held out for my home Division. The HQ supervisor said if you turn down an offer for your HOME domicile, then you are out. If you turn down the first offer for another domicile, they will keep you on the list and "may" come back to you. Personally, I had enough problems with paperwork getting lost/delayed that I wouldn't be waiting by the phone for another offer.

                        The entry salary probably is top notch, since I was a GS12 with OT they said they couldn't factor the OT into my offer but I came on as a 10-9. A classmate with no LE/Gov experience came in as a 10-10, so while I wouldn't badger them over a step, I would present a logical and reasonable counter-offer if you feel you are coming in at the wrong step. Seeing what the regular USPS employees and my friends in local govt, private biz are going through, I think I could be any happier to have a dream job, and make a very nice salary with guaranteed promotions, COLAs, etc (a friend in private biz had never heard of a COLA). With less than 3 years OTJ making well into the 100's, I am not sure how I lucked into this but am not going to complain!

                        I have heard over and over there is indeed a bright line staffing number that will generate the mentioned class and future classes. Lots and lots of retirements happening, so I think you will see movement. Also regarding the lawsuit and general rumors, I heard directly from the chief that he and the PMG are in agreement that if for some remote reason there was a change in the LEAP rules, they realize the caliber of personnel would immediately change so that if they have to call it something else they will, but the compensation and pay structure will not change. I am actually pretty optimistic because the legislation to finally classify us as executive/1811 is in the Congressional netherworld now.

                        The Pres. has said that the USPS is an institution that should remain as is and I don't think there will be any big changes in our lifetimes. Older Inspectors will tell you that every dozen years or so some doom and gloom prediction is lurking. With the recent OIG finding there was an extra 87 billion paid for retirees, I think there will be some type of accounting voodoo to work it all out.

                        CARS, etc
                        While money is tight, I have had numerous opportunities to travel, attend training, etc over the past couple years and for the most part, not much has changed on a daily basis. In my Division approx. half have take homes, and I know in others, the whole Division has them. I have heard from the very top that this is something they believe should change (for the better).

                        QUALITY OF LIFE
                        Having done the opposite extreme, I am amazed about how hands off mgmt is and the autonomy you have to work cases. As an example, I was on a case with an OIG, IRS, and FBI and we needed to do some recording at the last second. I was able to get it approved, get the gear, and be ready to go in about 20 minutes...the IRS/FBI guys said they would be waiting days. If you are doing a search or arrest, the case Inspector is trusted to manage it and there is no need for a TL to be there managing the scene. I work plenty of hours, but that is mostly my choosing to stay busy and even the busiest teams are not suffering in the home dept.

                        Yes, it would be cool to jump out of Blackhawks and drive tanks, but for 1811 gigs, it is a good one. Lots of opportunities to diversify, work with other teams, have collateral duties, find other agencies to work with and come up with ideas.

                        Godo luck, hope some of this helps and having done my share of application processes, I feel your pain!


                        • #13
                          Good post SA216. Like Dubya, Super, and Irish, I have been in the pool waiting a class date. I haven't been active on the boards, but I have been lurking. I occasionaly work with Inspectors and have heard the USPS only rumor. At this point, it would take a miracle to see any movement. From everything I hear the job is good and agency is top notch.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the intel SA216. You made my snowed in week. This is my dream job and glad to hear there is some possible movement in the near future. Just tell the recruitment office to call me. I am will be waiting by the phone.


                            • #15
                              Last edited by USPSSCS; 05-20-2010, 01:12 PM.


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